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Broadband Brigade Update: 5K Signature Petition Helps WIN on Broadband Buildout!

The Background

Over the past year, CWA members fought for and won billions of dollars of federal funding for states to build out broadband to unserved and underserved areas as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill.

The D1 Broadband Brigade convening in June

The D1 Broadband Brigade has been working overtime to ensure that those funding dollars go to skilled, union labor - like our members - instead of fly-by-night contractors looking to make a quick buck with cheap labor. Brigade members circulated a petition to New York’s ConnectALL office, the regulatory office overseeing the funding dollars, demanding fiber-optic technology, prioritization of high-road employers, and transparent and enforceable workforce plans. 

The Action

On November 3rd, we delivered the petition with over 5,000 signatures to ConnectALL’s Senior Vice President Josh Breitbart, as well as a letter signed by 122 New York State and local legislators - gathered by Broadband Brigade members through meetings with legislators over the last several weeks - stating, in part, “We have an unprecedented opportunity to close the digital divide and boost the economy, and these critical provisions must be included to ensure the highest quality public investment while safeguarding good jobs for telecom workers.”

Broadband petition

The Outcome

Yesterday, the ConnectALL office released their initial proposal for this funding and it includes our demands for:

  • Requirement for fiber-to-the-home with very few exceptions
  • Prioritization and requirements for high-road employers who have a directly-employed and local workforce, as well as robust in-house training
  • Publicly available and binding workforce plans

This is a huge win for the tens of thousands of CWA telecom workers in New York, as well as our communities throughout the state who deserve affordable, reliable broadband built by skilled workers!